10 Unusual Writing Tips for New Writers
“Painters love to paint. Writers love having a finished book.”
If you felt the truth in it, you’re probably a writer.
You’re also probably accustomed to the never-ending imposter syndrome, perfectionism, fear of bad writing, and fear of criticism. You already know that it’s impossible to lure yourself to write. And that self-loathing doesn’t get the job done either.
As an amateur, I spent tremendous time and energy finding a perfect writing system that works for me. Some methods worked for a few days but nothing helped with consistency.
Until one day I made a decision to publish one article daily on my blog.
It was a radical decision at that point considering I hadn’t posted a single article on my blog in the last 62 days! But I decided to post daily anyway.
I didn’t care if what I wrote was perfect. I didn’t care if those articles could be made better by days of editing and rewriting.
My mantra was simple —
“Don’t write because you have something amazing to say. Don’t publish because you wrote a masterpiece today. Write and publish because it’s a new day!”
Yes, I published many below average articles in the act of showing up daily. But in time, my daily practice became my greatest teacher and strongest motivation. In time, I learned to write well because I wrote every day.
Here are my top tips for becoming a better writer —
1. Stop waiting for original ideas to come to you to start writing. Just put your ideas on paper (or on screen). Ideas are formed over a period of time. If you keep going, you’ll find your unique voice.
2. Lower your standards for yourself. Perfection is an illusion. Don’t even set a daily word limit. Publish what you can on any given day.
Something average is better than a perfect nothing.
3. Write your first draft as it is in your mind. Set a timer and write until it beeps. Don’t overthink.
4. Edit voraciously. If possible, let it sit for a day or two. Then edit with a fresh mind. Omit anything that feels out of place.
5. Read it aloud while editing.
6. Make sentences shorter and simpler.
7. No big, fancy words. Write like you talk. (Particularly for online articles)
8. Make sure your message is clear. You don’t have to sound smart. Being clear is enough.
9. Respect your reader’s time. Keep your article as short as possible (without compromising on the idea conveyed).
10. Trust your reader. Don’t spoon-feed ideas. Leave something for their own interpretation.